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Dressing up for Halloween isn't just for kids. In fact, it's estimated more than 47 million adults will dress up in a costume this year. Psychologists say for many of us, it's an opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and into something a little more daring.



"Sigmund Freud talked about two primary impulses that kind of all human beings have: sexual and aggressive impulses," said psychologist Dr. Scott Bea at Cleveland Clinic. "And I think at Halloween you can see that costumes can sometimes embody these impulses. Things that people can't experience in their every day life they may take to time to experiment with during Halloween."



Psychologists say we have a "conscious self" that we show during our everyday life, but we also have a hidden side which we are more comfortable showing during Halloween.



And, if Freakfest -- Madison's State Street Halloween bash -- is any indication, people are more likely to lose their inhibitions or expand their range of behavior on Halloween because their costume allows them to feel anonymous.



"What I do think is interesting is that-of all the people who get dressed up-about 45 percent are actually adults," said Dr. Bea. "Adults really enjoy this whole thing. This is an extension of childhood, I think, for us as adults to get dressed up and play and masquerade."



The National Retail Federation expects some of the more popular adult costumes this year to be witches, vampires, and pirates.

What Your Halloween Costume Says About You

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